Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Backpacking with Boy Scouts


Last weekend I wandered off with Mike and Mel to go backpacking with squinks. We headed off to Henry Coe park which is right outside of Morgan Hill (which is in turn about 10 miles south of San Jose). Mel works with a troop of Boy Scouts in the East Bay, so we had P-Wood and Sean from Sequoia and a half dozen scouts. It's definetly been a while since I've hung out with scouts, and these were some well behaved boys.

It continues to amaze me how well behaved and mature the kids I meet are. I know that my whitebread, suburban friends where neither so consientious nor mature when I was in scouts. I still have yet to set up the right control to know whether this is because of a hardening process that comes from living in the ghetto (and for some of these boys that's not hyperbole), or whether Mel and Mike aren't going to be taking out troublemakers. I suspect it's a linear combination of the two.

Regardless, I had a great time. My leadership skills are improving (I actually took the initiative and set a limit for the kids at one point), though since the other adults were talking about enrolling me in a leadership training class so I can take the kids out on my own there's a voice in the back of my head suggesting that I should be concerned. But that's the same voice that tells me not to talk to strangers, so I've been working on killing it for the last year now.

And my favorite part of the trip was this one hill. A few of us had decided to try and avoid digging a hole if we could, and as we approached civilization on Sunday, we got to a point where there was a massive climb for a mile. At the top of this climb was an outhouse. A couple of the kids negotiated the ability to move quickly up the hill (as they could go significantly faster than the slowest among us) to make use of the facilities.

This gave me a chance to open up with some speed and see what I could do. It felt really good to leave Jonathan and Marcus in the dust, and I worked hard to keep up with Byron and arrived at the top only a minute after him. Of course his pack was 15 or so pounds lighter, as is he, so while I do need to work on my pain tolerance, I can take pride in what I was able to do.

Anyway, I had a great time, and I got to really have some fun with my new camera. It does make a huge differnece when you don't have to remove a lens cap and wait for the thing to boot, so I've taken a lot more shots than I would have with my G2.

Pictures


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